What the powerful solar storm of May 2024 has been like

solar storm peaks

The appearance of the northern lights in unexpected places, far from the Arctic Circle, where they are normally observed, can be attributed to a powerful geomagnetic solar storm that produced a significant flare of level X1,0 on the measurement scale. To fully understand this phenomenon, the convergence of solar radiation and the Earth's magnetic field played a crucial role. Experts suggest that in the coming days there is a possibility of another geomagnetic storm, which could have significant repercussions. These repercussions would be the direct result of a geomagnetic solar storm.

In this article we are going to tell you what the powerful solar storm of May 2024 was like and some of the repercussions that a solar storm may have.

Solar storm

solar storm

While solar storms do not pose a direct threat to Earth, the impact of this phenomenon on current technologies can be significant and potentially disastrous.

Throughout the year 2024, our planet has been subjected to recurring solar events that have the potential to directly impact communication systems. However, The appearance of a geomagnetic storm requires a combination of multiple factors, including reaching maximum intensity and prolonged duration of several hours.

According to the SciTechDaily website, the Sun unleashed a powerful storm on May 12, registering a rating of X1.0. The storm peaked at 12:26 pm Eastern Time in the United States. The AR3664 region of the sun, according to the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), is responsible for generating geomagnetic disturbances.

Impacts of a geomagnetic storm

solar storm effects

The impacts of a geomagnetic storm are:

  • Interruption in water supply.
  • Transportation systems experience major failures.
  • Cases of technological failures in the digital field.
  • The electrical service is damaged.
  • The absence of water and electricity services

The most powerful solar storm in recorded history

Aurora borealis

It has been 165 years since the last appearance of a geomagnetic solar storm that could have catastrophic effects on Earth. However, during that period, technology had not yet assumed a fundamental role in human existence.

During the year 1859, the esteemed astronomer Richard Carrington had the extraordinary opportunity to observe a remarkable event: a dazzling eruption of white light emanating from the surface of the Sun, which in turn produced colossal flares of such magnitude that it was estimated that They were equivalent to the explosive force of 10 billion atomic bombs.

The Carrington event, a powerful storm, caused the northern lights phenomenon to be observed around the world, including regions as far away as Cuba, Chile and Australia, although the limited technology of the time prevented significant consequences.

According to the center, the recent flare, classified as X8,7, marked the most severe geomagnetic storm since 2003. According to the center, A flare is an explosion of solar energy that typically lasts a short period of time, ranging from minutes to hours.. It's worth noting that flares of this magnitude are rare.

The active regions of the Sun, which are characterized by strong magnetic fields, are where solar flares usually take place. These flares have the potential to disrupt radio signals, power grids, and communication systems. People who rely on high-frequency radio signals may experience temporary or even complete signal loss.

As a result of the Sun's rotation, the sunspot in question has diverted its energy from the Earth, thus reducing possible impacts.

While flares have the potential to endanger astronauts and spacecraft, NASA recently determined there was no danger to the crew aboard the International Space Station.

According to the Solar Dynamics Observatory at X, the Sun's activity follows a cyclical pattern known as the solar cycle, which extends over a period of 11 years. Solar cycle 2019 began in December 25 and is currently approaching its peak, also known as solar maximum. During this phase, events such as eruptions become increasingly frequent.


Not only that, but solar particles also raise radiation levels in the upper regions of the atmosphere, potentially endangering the well-being of astronauts and damaging satellite technology. Consequently, they also produce notable visual phenomena.

To effectively navigate and weather an exceptionally powerful solar storm, it is essential to make advance preparations and implement precautionary measures. National Geographic has provided a comprehensive guide outlining several strategies to effectively manage and mitigate the impact of such events.

  • Stay well-informed and up-to-date with space weather alerts and forecasts disseminated by accredited agencies such as NOAA and other comparable organizations. These valuable alerts provide advanced insights into potential solar storms.
  • Create a comprehensive emergency plan for your home and your loved ones, outlining the necessary steps to take in the event of a severe solar storm. It is essential that all members of your family are well informed about the plan and fully equipped to implement it effectively.
  • To ensure effective communication during a solar storm, It is essential to have backup options, such as shortwave radios or CB radios (CB), as cell phone and Internet networks may suffer interruptions. Additionally, it is advisable to have a stock of non-perishable food, drinking water and essential medicines that can sustain you for a minimum of two weeks, as prolonged power outages can potentially disrupt the availability of essential goods.
  • To ensure uninterrupted power supply, It is advisable to purchase a portable generator and keep its charge for immediate use.. To protect electronic devices from the impact of solar storms, it is recommended to use surge protectors as a protective measure.
  • To ensure financial stability During power outages or communications interruptions, it is advisable to have physical cash available, as electronic transactions and ATMs may be affected.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about what the powerful solar storm of May 2024 was like and what to do in the event of this type of event.

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